HC Deb 04 May 1905 vol 145 cc907-8

To ask the Postmaster-General whether his attention has been called to Clause 8, Section 7, of the Telegraph Act, 1863–1892, under which the Post Office in taking over the establishments of the then existing telegraph companies also undertook to employ every officer and clerk of the companies who had been not less than five or seven years in the service of the companies, or failing such employment to give them compensation in annual pensions fixed according to length of service; whether it was also arranged in the case of the telegraph companies' servants that those who entered into the service of the Postmaster-General should be entitled to count their years of continuous service with the telegraph companies as years passed in the Civil Service of the Crown: and whether he will state that similar arrangements will be extended to the servants of the National Telephone Company as were made forty-two years ago in the case of the servants of the telegraph companies.

(Answered by Lord Stanley.) I am aware of the provisions in the Telegraph Act of 1868 dealing with the transfer of the staffs of the various telegraph companies to the Post Office, provisions which are not quite correctly stated by the hon. Member. I am not prepared to propose similar arrangements as regards the staff of the National Telephone Company, since I believe that to follow that precedent in the present instance would impose an inequitable burden on the taxpayers of the United Kingdom.